That unmistakable chugging from gas-powered tuk tuks (think funky motorcycle) may become a thing of the past on Bangkok streets someday. Although the Thai government stopped issuing permits in 2008, gas-powered tuk tuks still clog Bangkok streets and contribute to that city’s dirt and pollution.
One aspiring inventor is attempting to get the Thai government and Bangkok tuk tuk drivers to move from cooking oil or gas fueled buggies (tuk tuks) to solar electric hybrid ones instead, according to the AFP. Tuk tuk maker Clean Fuel Energy Enterprise says its solar electric hybrids are silent and can travel between 60 and 80 kilometers on a single charge. Interestingly – and perhaps something that would be fun to do – is that these hybrid vehicles are supposed to travel up to 60 miles per hour.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look likely that this invention will hit Bangkok streets any time soon. The price tag is incredibly high for the average tuk tuk driver and environmental regulations that would boost this electric vehicle’s cause aren’t due out for several years. And, this solar car hasn’t yet won regulatory approval from Thai authorities. Although the electric vehicle has its share of supporters, it will take time and probably government subsidies before this little green vehicle whisks you around the city.